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> Musings on India, Could India be the closest thing to a Superpower in SR?
LivingOxymoron
post Dec 5 2009, 11:00 PM
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India gets very little coverage in the SR world. The only real mention I've seen in 4th Ed, where the AA Corp KITT is mentioned as, basically, the customer-level tech support for consumer goods, outsourced by even AAA megas.

This got me thinking.

With the breakup of China, India is the largest nation in the Shadowrun world by population. According to the stats given at the Sixth World Wiki (which I think are derived from 3rd Ed Shadows of Asia), it is home to nearly 1 billion people. Not only that, though, but the demographic stats are interesting. While nearly half the nation has less than a high school-level education (and the poverty rate is 25%), India boasts more Advanced Degrees than even Japan (18% vs 14%). In fact, the total number of undergrad AND advanced degree holders given are 44% compared to Japan's 43% and Seattle's 34%! Basically, India has nearly 440 MILLION people with some kind of higher-level education.

What is also interesting is where Japan boasts a 97% Corporate Affiliation rate, India is only 22% This means that even if the AAA's and AA's were to employ only college educated folks, half the population would still be highly educated and not corporate affiliated.

So what do we think? What do you suppose the status of the largest nation on Earth is? Especially one who's educated populace exceeds many other nations' (or corporations) total number of citizens? One which appears to have very little corporate involvement and is unified by a national faith only made stronger and more "real" by the Awakening?
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Backgammon
post Dec 5 2009, 11:44 PM
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I don't know, India has similar figures today - is it a superpower now?
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LivingOxymoron
post Dec 6 2009, 12:04 AM
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Many consider it to be up-and-coming. It's certainly a regional power possessing nuclear weapons and a modern, professional military backed up by a fast growing economy and a democratic government structure.

What is different between today and the SR world is a matter of relativity, though. In 2070, the US is fractured into several smaller nations, as is Russia and China. India remains more or less huge, united, and very capable nation-state without much corporate influence, as opposed to other powerful nations such as Japan and Aztlan which are augmented (or controlled) by their own domestic corporate interests. I'm not trying to ask if India is the *most* powerful entity on the planet, just if it's relative power and influence level should be looked upon as greater than it has been presented.

QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 5 2009, 03:44 PM) *
I don't know, India has similar figures today - is it a superpower now?

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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Dec 6 2009, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 5 2009, 08:44 PM) *
I don't know, India has similar figures today - is it a superpower now?


It might not be a superpower, but it is a power nonetheless, given the fact that the only superpowers before the 6th World (Russia and USA) lost major portion of territory, India could be considered along the only country capable of make a threat to a AAA corp (not counting Japan because their empire and the AAA japanacorps have an incestuous relationship, along with Aztlan).
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pbangarth
post Dec 6 2009, 12:18 AM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 5 2009, 04:44 PM) *
I don't know, India has similar figures today - is it a superpower now?


It is rapidly approaching that status, both in economic terms and military terms. It has been argued that while China is building at a prodigious rate to catch up to the 20th century, India is rushing into the 21st century.
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FlakJacket
post Dec 6 2009, 06:22 AM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Dec 6 2009, 12:18 AM) *
It is rapidly approaching that status, both in economic terms and military terms. It has been argued that while China is building at a prodigious rate to catch up to the 20th century, India is rushing into the 21st century.

I'd question what definition of superpwer people are using, especially this one. Whilst their economy has been growing at a very impressive rate there's still an incredible economic inequality and grinding poverty both in the cities and countryside, plus a number of social factors that could impair future growth. They've got a lot of potential but I think a fair amount of press hype from a few years back was rather overplayed. As for militarily I remain to be convinced.
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Aarakin
post Dec 6 2009, 08:18 AM
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If memory serves, the VITAS plagues originated in india and the death toll was significant (75%+?)

Even with the large population to start with, that is a big hit to recover from...
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 6 2009, 01:07 PM
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They have a cultural heritage that gives them the tools to deal with goblinization and awakening. Having hundreds of religious sects, sub-cultures with different languages and so forth is nothing new in India.

I'm not sure if the return to prominence of the caste system would be a good thing though.
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Method
post Dec 6 2009, 01:26 PM
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Most defnitions of superpower require that a nation has the ability to project power and influence on a global scale. The fact that India can't even convince it's neighbor to give up Kashmir (even with the threat of nuclear weapons) kinda precludes superpower status. Whether that changes in the future is the big question.
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Saint Sithney
post Dec 6 2009, 01:44 PM
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If we're talking realistically, India won't even have any ground water Aquifers by 2070.

Though they're not alone in that regard...
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Red-ROM
post Dec 6 2009, 03:43 PM
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I think the "dystopian future" that shadowrun portrays has the megacorps as the superpowers. Nations are a far second. so India's lack of megacorp involvement is not a good thing
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FlakJacket
post Dec 6 2009, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 6 2009, 01:26 PM) *
The fact that India can't even convince it's neighbor to give up Kashmir (even with the threat of nuclear weapons) kinda precludes superpower status.

Well when the other side also have nuclear weapons as well that kind of negates the advantage.
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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Dec 6 2009, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Aarakin @ Dec 6 2009, 05:18 AM) *
If memory serves, the VITAS plagues originated in india and the death toll was significant (75%+?)

Even with the large population to start with, that is a big hit to recover from...


Right, forgot about VITAS! Without the mention that Crash 1.0 and 2.0 could also possibly kill/criple their most capable engineers/scientists the moment the crashes occurred.
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pbangarth
post Dec 6 2009, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 6 2009, 06:26 AM) *
Most defnitions of superpower require that a nation has the ability to project power and influence on a global scale. The fact that India can't even convince it's neighbor to give up Kashmir (even with the threat of nuclear weapons) kinda precludes superpower status. Whether that changes in the future is the big question.

Hmmm... so the only superpower people agree is a superpower should then be able to do things India cannot. Like, democratize and pacify Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or convince Iran to stop going nuclear.

I see your point.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 6 2009, 11:19 PM
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QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Dec 6 2009, 07:20 PM) *
Right, forgot about VITAS! Without the mention that Crash 1.0 and 2.0 could also possibly kill/criple their most capable engineers/scientists the moment the crashes occurred.


Well, the numbers from Shadows of Asia are post-VITAS, only Crash 2.0 happened. And that's not really described as being a people-killer on a massive scale; more an excuse to overhaul some dated infrastructure.
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Backgammon
post Dec 7 2009, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Dec 6 2009, 01:49 PM) *
Hmmm... so the only superpower people agree is a superpower should then be able to do things India cannot. Like, democratize and pacify Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or convince Iran to stop going nuclear.

I see your point.


The US has not failed at doing these things. It is just taking a lot of time. Take the G8 nations - do you imagine any other single one doing what the US is doing now? No. Nobody can. The US as a superpower isn't perfect. It's simply more able than anyone else (or everyone else combined, in fact).

India is no superpower. It's not even G8. It is a BRIC though (brazil, russia, india, china), which means it has a lot of potential.

It doesn't specifically say that India sucks donkey balls in Shadowrun, so one is free to assume it is a strong regionnal players. It's certainly true everyone around India sucks donkey balls, especially with China imploding. But like every other fairly upright governement, it's just a market for the megacorps. That's the nature of the 6th world. The Corporate Court is the world's only Superpower. The megacorps are the only G10.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 7 2009, 12:35 AM
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I don't think the writers of SR had really realized how big and powerful India would become. There are a lot of ways to fragment it like they've done to pretty much every other place. It might be a good idea, even, to turn it back into little kingdoms/citystates.
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Backgammon
post Dec 7 2009, 12:46 AM
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India has been doing very well only in the last like 10-20 years max. As SR's timeline diverges in the 90s, India doesn't have to develop into anything powerful, More importantly, it doesn't have to eveolve into anything not fun, and the most fun thing is for it to be the Indiana Jones style India where everything is just one big "WTF?" kind of place where anything can happen without repercussion.
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Cray74
post Dec 7 2009, 12:54 AM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 6 2009, 07:27 PM) *
It doesn't specifically say that India sucks donkey balls in Shadowrun, so one is free to assume it is a strong regionnal players.


Doesn't Shadows of Asia detail India at length?
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pbangarth
post Dec 7 2009, 05:23 AM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 6 2009, 06:26 AM) *
The fact that India can't even convince it's neighbor to give up Kashmir (even with the threat of nuclear weapons) kinda precludes superpower status.



QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 6 2009, 05:27 PM) *
The US has not failed at doing these things. It is just taking a lot of time.


The same argument could be applied to Method's statement, to which I had replied.
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Earlydawn
post Dec 7 2009, 06:31 AM
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India is certainly an up-and-comer. In a lot of ways, I see it doing better then China in the long-term. China has a whole host of problems that go along with its current political and economic models - and for whatever reason, the academic world seems to be completely ignoring those. I guess it's easier to sell a $30 hardcover book on the premise of a 100% guaranteed superpower, rather then just another emerging power that is inevitably going to get boxed into the biggest military alliance the world has ever seen. India, on the other hand, has a robust education system, a more balanced economic model, and mutual interests with the United States & the West. Not to say they don't have their own hurdles to leap, but they're certainly treading more carefully then China is. Get your seats now - instead of expecting an implausible head-on confrontation between China and the West, look to China and India to lock horns over South-East Asia around 2030 - you didn't think the rumblings about Chinese aircraft carriers were directed towards the U.S. Navy, did you? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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LivingOxymoron
post Dec 7 2009, 07:02 AM
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QUOTE (Earlydawn @ Dec 6 2009, 10:31 PM) *
India is certainly an up-and-comer. In a lot of ways, I see it doing better then China in the long-term. China has a whole host of problems that go along with its current political and economic models - and for whatever reason, the academic world seems to be completely ignoring those. I guess it's easier to sell a $30 hardcover book on the premise of a 100% guaranteed superpower, rather then just another emerging power that is inevitably going to get boxed into the biggest military alliance the world has ever seen. India, on the other hand, has a robust education system, a more balanced economic model, and mutual interests with the United States & the West. Not to say they don't have their own hurdles to leap, but they're certainly treading more carefully then China is. Get your seats now - instead of expecting an implausible head-on confrontation between China and the West, look to China and India to lock horns over South-East Asia around 2030 - you didn't think the rumblings about Chinese aircraft carriers were directed towards the U.S. Navy, did you? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


True that. They're both the first (and only) non-US/European nations to build their own Aircraft Carriers in the modern day.
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hobgoblin
post Dec 7 2009, 07:26 AM
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ah, the carrier, the modern day equivalent of a dreadnaught.

perfect for posturing, but to expensive to really put into harms way...
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Fuchs
post Dec 7 2009, 08:29 AM
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Would a battle involving modern aircraft carriers on both sides not look a lot like rocket launcher tag? Carriers haven't faced an equal opponent (as in, technologically and numerically) since World War II. (Even Argentine wasn't up in GBs league during the Falkland War.)
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Dec 7 2009, 08:35 AM
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Given ship lasers that can reach LEO satellites, it's a lot less fun for the pilots than it sounds.
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